05 Nov NOVEMBER GARDEN HAPPENINGS
For many gardeners, November truly signifies the end of the active gardening season, while for others, it’s just business as usual in cooler weather. I live in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, so I’m in the midst of planting my fall/winter veggie garden (but don’t be too jealous; August and September around these parts are simply beastly). But, wherever you live, you’re a gardener, right? So that means there’s always something to do — and we’ve got it all planned out for you!
And, you know the drill — be sure to check for recommendations for your particular area. With so many zones and microclimates within each zone, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to seasonal gardening chores.
What’s Planting this November by Zones
Zones 3 – 5: Admittedly, gardeners in these chilly climes are reaching for their woolens right about now, but that’s no reason to lose heart. If you planted a late-season garden in August or September, go ahead and harvest the goods — from spinach, lettuce, and radishes to carrots, turnips, onions, beets, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, you could be up to your eyeballs in fresh produce. Want to extend your growing season? Use a cold frame or invest in a greenhouse. If you’re in the warmer parts of these zones, you might still have time to get your spring-flowering bulbs in the ground (tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth). And speaking of bulbs, continue potting up amaryllis if you want a long succession of blooms over the cold months. And check the planting times for trees and shrubs in your area — if your soil temps are above 45 degrees, you can likely plant, but water them regularly until the ground freezes. Looking for some good armchair gardening? Start planning next year’s garden — I always have a stack of garden books and magazines on hand to inspire me. And don’t forget about indoor gardening, as the winter months are an ideal time to focus on creating amazing tablescapes, hanging gardens, and wall planters.
Plan, Prep, and Plant with a November Gardening Checklist
Zones 6 – 7: Many gardeners in these zones still have plenty to plant and tend — there is no rest for the weary quite yet! Continue planting shade and ornamental trees, as well as shrubs and cool-season annuals like pansies, viola, cyclamen, dianthus, and flowering cabbage and kale. Divide and replant perennials like daylilies and iris, and transplant or relocate established trees and shrubs only after they are dormant. Prune evergreen trees and cut back flowering perennials after the first killing freeze. Trim your tropicals after the first freeze, too, unless you are covering them up or moving them for the winter. Add compost and mulch to existing beds. Harvest fall veggies. Mow warm-season grasses up until the first freeze, and fertilize new fescue and ryegrass lawns at ½ the recommended rate. Be sure to inspect your potted plants before moving them indoors, and be on the ready to cover up tender plants in case of an unexpected cold front.